Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Holmes, Carlton (Carlton Astor Holmes III)

Holmes, Carlton (Carlton Astor Holmes III), pianist; b. Lansing, MI, 21 August 1964. He grew up in Seattle, WA and Albuquerque, NM. He studied with Boaz Sharon (1982-83) and Anna Norberg (1983-86) at University of Tulsa (Oklahoma) and Harold Danko (1986-1988) at Manhattan School of Music (New York). He received a Bachelor of Music in 1986 for Piano Performance/ Music theory from University Of Tulsa (Oklahoma) and a Master of Music in 1988 for jazz and commercial music/piano performance from Manhattan School Of Music (New York City). He was named "Best jazz soloist" at various High School jazz band competitions

He is the eldest son of Carlton Astor Holmes II (b. 1943) and Sharon R. Holmes. One sister Marilyn C. Holmes (b. 1970), one brother Kenneth Louis Holmes (1968-1986). He has three daughters living in New York: Olivia Louis Holmes, Leelah Holmes and Ella Summer Holmes.

Holmes is currently piano and keyboard player for Grammy award vocalist Regina Belle. Carlton has toured extensively in Europe and Asia with Blue Note recording artist Ronny Jordan and Muse recording artist Michael Carvin.

As a jazz artist, Carlton has performed and recorded with such artists as Ray Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Max Roach, Donald Byrd, Rufus Reid, Teramasa Hino, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny Garrett. Carlton is an active and contributing artist in the New York jazz scene.    

Carlton also works extensively as a programmer and synthesist.  He has worked with artists Stevie Wonder, Diane Reeves, Ravi Coltrane and Cindy Blackman. Carlton recently completed composing the music for the National Public Radio show "Sisters and Friends " to began Broadcasting nationally in December. In addition, Carlton also arranged and performed the music For the ABC Television Christmas Special, Martha Stewart's Home For The Holidays. 

He is currently composing and rehearsing for his forthcoming recording.  In addition, he is composing for the forthcoming film of Ginger's Rise, directed by Abdullah Abuksumo. Carlton maintains his own recording studio and is actively involved in arranging and songwriting. Carlton is also active as an educator of piano, music theory and keyboards.  He maintains correspondence with over 25 students of all ages and levels.

His studio gear includes an Akai sampler, Oberhiem Matrix, Proeus 1XR, Korg 01Wpro, Korg Triton, Roland EP7 II, Korg SG1D, Kurzweil Micropiano, Sequencer Plus Gold on IBM compatible compouter, Akai 16 track digital recorder and various outboard and submixers.

Recordings as sideperson:
Cindy Blackman: Works on Canvas (1999), Someday (2001);
Michael Carvin: Each One Teach One (1992); Leon Lee Dorsey: Song of Songs (1999); Carlos Garnett: Resurgence (1996), Fuego En Mi Alma (1996), Under Nubian Skies (1999), Moon Shadow (2001); Carola Grey: Age of Illusions (1994); The Bill Kirchner Nonet: Trance Dance: Live in Concert (1999); Various Artists: Downtown Soulville! (arranger) (1998), Jazz for Those Peaceful Moments... (1999), Autumn Jazz (1999), Jazz for a Lonely Heart (2001), Jazz for the Two of You (2001), Soma 10: Anthology (bass) (2002), Jazz With Gentle Rhythms (2003)

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